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Spring 2015 Standard Eurobarometer: Citizens see immigration as top challenge for EU to tackle

EU News 216/2015

Brussels, 31 July 2015

More Europeans say they have a positive image of the European Union and trust in the EU has gone up since last November. In addition, citizens see immigration as the major challenge facing the EU currently. These are some of the results of the latest Standard Eurobarometer survey published today. The survey was carried out between 16 and 27 May 2015 in 34 countries or territories.[1]

Immigration seen as the major challenge facing the EU

Asking citizens about their main concerns, immigration is now at the top of the most frequently cited topics at EU level. With 38% (+14 points) it is now way ahead of the economic situation (27%, -6 points), unemployment (24%, -5 points) and the Member States public finances (23%, -2 points). It is the number one most frequently cited concern in 20 Member States reaching peaks in Malta (65%) and Germany (55%). Concern for terrorism at EU level has also increased significantly since November 2014 (17%, +6 points) (see Annex 1).

Support for European Commission’s political priorities

As in the previous survey of November 2014, there is a strong endorsement by citizens of the priority topics set by the European Commission under President Juncker (see Annex 2).

On investment within the EU, 59% of Europeans agree public money should be used to stimulate private sector investment at EU level.
On energy, 72% of Europeans are in favour of a common energy policy among EU Member States.
Most Europeans regard the single market (the free movement of people, goods and services within the EU) as the most positive achievement of the EU (57%), almost at par with peace among the Member States (55%).
Regarding the issue of migration, 73% of Europeans say they are in favour of a common European policy on migration. Most Europeans (51%) are positive about migration of people from other EU Member States. However, 56% are negative about immigration of people from outside the EU.

Finally, citizens remain optimistic about the future of the EU. 58% (+2 points) of Europeans say they are optimistic while 36% (-1 point) say they are pessimistic.

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